Update: Parkersburg restaurants reacts to dining room closures

Published: Mar. 16, 2020 at 5:47 PM EDT
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UPDATE 3/18/20:

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice has ordered bars and restaurants in the mountain state to stop serving in house. Businesses can still offer to go orders, delivery and drive-thru options, but small business owners in Parkersburg still have their concerns.

“It’s going to hurt. It’s going to hurt any small businesses, you know,” said Jimmy Colombo, restaurateur.

But restaurateurs say it won’t just be eateries that suffer.

“Well the stopping of the dining in has definitely impacted businesses, but it’s not just restaurants. It really goes beyond restaurants, it goes into manufacturing, it goes into retail sales,” said JR Carpenter, owner of Crystal Café.

And of course restaurant employees are impacted.

“There are no shifts when you don’t have a dining room,” said Colombo.

In place of usual tasks, some businesses have resorted to having their employees do tasks normally outsourced to contractors.

“In order to keep all my employees working, which we are working to make sure that continues, we’re doing major cleaning, steam cleaning, basically moving things that haven’t been moved in years. Trying to keep everybody employed. Hopefully this will not last long,” said Carpenter.

“Now we brought some people in today to do more deep cleaning, and we’ll do the same thing tonight. And we’ll serve food to go I hope,” said Colombo.



With Governor Mike DeWine closing all restaurants' dining rooms and bar areas, it was imminent that the restaurant their staffs would take financial hits.

The Marietta Brewing Company is not closing entirely, as they are offering meals to go for the community.

While they still expect fairly decent traffic to their restaurant, taking care of the staff will still be a challenge.

"We're staying open," said owner Tony Styer. "We're open for carry-out so we still need people to work, but unfortunately the front of the house staff, there's no need for service. We're all in the same boat, they understand that, and they know that we're going to do our best to give them what they need."

Styer wants to remind the local community to continue to support local businesses in these trying times.